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Cutting curves in plastic

3439 Views 16 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Pete Thornton
I'm about to have to fit a sand dome on a new boiler, and to cut down the smokebox saddle on my new project loco. Both the dome and the saddle have to fit a curved surface about 1+" radius, (2.375" diameter actually. It's a ten-wheeler conversion, so the dome is moulded in to the top of the old boiler.)

I can think of a few ways of doing this, but I'm wondering if you clever guys know any other way besdies the following:

- using a coping saw (hand version of a band saw,) carefully cut to approx the right diameter and then file or sand smooth,

- using a large curved file, just file away until it fits,

- buy a grinding bit for my drill and grind the plastic away.

How would you make a sand dome fit a new boiler?
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For the Master Class locos, the domes are made from scratch out of plastic pipe. I used a Dremel tool with one of their carbide bits (possibly #9901, or something like that). Then I cut the shape freehand. The first one took me about an hour, but now it takes about 10-15 minutes.
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